Berlusconi and his butterflies stray into Benny Hill territory

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The Independent Online

Silvio Berlusconi's interest in young women is looking less Lothario, more Benny Hill. He has been accused of appointing a pretty MP, Mara Carfagna, as minister of equal opportunities in return for oral sex. Ms Carfagna, 32, said she would sue.

Judges are considering if Mr Berlusconi, 71, committed a crime over his attempts to persuade the state broadcaster to give acting jobs to nubile actresses, offering business favours in exchange. Virginia Sanjust di Teulada was bombarded with gifts, given a television job and even (it is alleged) a job as "expert" in the Prime Minister's press office. Time, perhaps, Silvio, to find another hobby.

Silvio Berlusconi

Prime Minister of Italy, famous for leering refusal to grow old, known as 'Il Cavaliere' but now fighting claims he's just an old goat.

Mara Carfagna

Former model and TV starlet, appointed equal opportunities minister in May, a post in which she has been floundering.

Virginia Sanjust di Teulada

TV wannabe showered with gifts by Berlusconi, who was given a job in television and had a house bought by PM's colleague.

Elena Russo

One of the actresses, known as Berlusconi's 'butterflies', on behalf of whom he rang a TV executive and asked for work.

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